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Rogers Stirk Harbour to redevelop South Kensington Tube


Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) has become the latest in a line of architects asked to redevelop South Kensington Tube station in west London

The practice is part of the Native Land bid chosen by Transport for London (TfL) as its joint venture developer to reimagine the land around the station and to revamp and restore its historic structure and the Grade II-listed retail arcade.

In 2016 BuckleyGrayYeoman revealed its own proposals – effectively a brief for the latest developer tender – which included the redesign of the station entrance, restoration of the shopfronts and the redevelopment of the residential units along Thurloe Street.

Before that John McAslan + Partners had drawn up plans in 2009, while Terry Farrel’s proposal for a rotunda-like mixed-used scheme above the station’s listed arcade was ditched in 2003. 

According to TfL, the RSHP development will be ‘respectful to the character of the local area and will provide step-free access to the District and Circle line platforms via a new entrance on Thurloe Street’.

It is understood the scheme will also improve access to the pedestrian subway leading to the Science Museum, Imperial College, the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The project includes reworking the four-storey buildings at 20-34 Thurloe Street and the potential ‘to create new opportunities along TfL’s stretch of land on Pelham Street to Thurloe Square and on the distinctive Bullnose building’.

TfL director of commercial development Graeme Craig said: ‘It’s hugely exciting to be working with partners who are renowned for such iconic and transformative projects.

‘Together, we can create a development that reflects its historic legacy and unique setting as a gateway to some of the most important and treasured cultural institutions in the world.’

Community consultation is expected to begin later this year and, subject to planning permission, the development could be complete in 2022.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Native Land proposals, it has emerged that Weston Williamson + Partners has won approval to create a larger ticket hall and a new dedicated District and Circle eastbound platform at the station.

According to the practice, phase 1 one of the TfL-backed project includes a new canopy, escape stairs, repositioned gate-line, lifts, waiting area and platform stairs to ‘significantly improve accessibility, space, passenger distribution and wayfinding’.

The firm added: ‘The historic revetment wall forms the spine of the ticket hall extension; a large, linear skylight separates it from the new extension, introducing natural daylight, which both enhances the passenger environment and showcases the wall.’

Weston Williamson + Partners' approved designs for the overhaul of South Kensington tube station's platforms and ticket hall

Weston Williamson + Partners’ approved designs for the overhaul of South Kensington tube station’s platforms and ticket hall

Weston Williamson + Partners’ approved designs for the overhaul of South Kensington tube station’s platforms and ticket hall


Matt Yeoman of BuckleyGrayYeoman

’[We] are still acting for TfL, as we have been throughout the bidding process, in an advisory role. We were part of the panel that selected the preferred bidder.

We are delighted that Native Land has been selected along with RSHP. We are looking forward to working with the new team. Exact roles and responsibilities have yet to be decided.

BuckleyGrayYeoman's proposals for South Kensington tube station July 2016

BuckleyGrayYeoman’s proposals for South Kensington tube station July 2016

Phasing plan of South Kensington redevelopment - according to original proposals from 2016




Readers' comments (3)

  • Virtually impossible to get this without better imagery. Showing the old abandoned schemes isn't helping :-S

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  • 'Tube' might well be the generic term for London's underground rail system, but it's a misnomer when applied to South Kensington station - where the platforms are in the open air, in daylight, and anything less tube-like would be difficult to imagine.
    For the real tube experience try somewhere like Tottenham Court Road - the older part of which resembles a claustrophobic worm burrow (a neglected one, at that) unless Crossrail development has relegated this to history.

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  • Good to see that TfL really want to try and rejuvenate a station that desperately needs to be re-assessed in terms of accessibility rather than use the disused platform as a storage space.
    I would be all for this design as long as the Leslie design station front is kept on Pelham Street.

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